Category Archives: Irish Rebellion of 1641

1641: Some Context


 

by Pat Muldowney,
Church and State; First Quarter, 2011

 
Historic massacres have been in the news recently. Large numbers of British Protestant settlers were killed in horrific circumstances by hordes of rebellious natives in a frenzy of religious hatred. This despite the fact that the settlers, whatever their faults, were bringing civic values, industry, modernity and progress to an antiquated country mired in backwardness and superstition.

In the ensuing chaos, order was finally restored by a determined military campaign in which the Irish Brigadier- General John Nicholson played a leading part, but at the cost of his own life.
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1641: The Massacre Propaganda


by Brendan Clifford,
Church and State; First Quarter, 2011

Almost fifty years ago I spent a month in isolation in a remote and English part of England, called Winchester, with nothing to do and nothing to read except a volume of Edmund Spenser’s Poems that somehow came to hand. I read it because it was there, and nothing else was there. And so I read about the Fairy Queen, who never actually appears in that never-ending poem with her name to it as far as I recall, and about Knights and Ladies and Chivalry and the Blatant Beast and other strange creatures that lurk in the undergrowth of the English mind. And I got to know about Colin Clout’s Homecoming to Buttevant, which had been cleared of the Irish so that Greek Nymphs and Shepherds might play in it, and Greek goddesses along with them, but no gods that I recall. And then I was released from captivity and promptly forgot about Spenser, except to wonder occasionally how that bizarre poem, afflicted with uncoordinated gigantism, remained in print.

For remain in print it did. And Senator Harris has fallen down on the task he has set himself, because I have not heard yet that he has hailed it as the great Irish poem to whose influence we should all submit ourselves in order to be re-created and saved.
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